Why Backups and Recovery are critical

Any computer system you have will contain data of some sort, and as time goes on the amount of data increases.  Even if the data can be recreated the cost of doing so increases as time goes on.  In some situations the continued running of an IT system is critical to the business, such as having the ability to see customer details; stock levels; and even systems that are required to permit the functioning of non-computing aspects of the business’s – such as allowing lorries to enter/leave depots with necessary legal paperwork.

When the systems function well Backups and Recovery are seldom considered and indeed seen to be a burdon.

However, computers do fail – and without a suitable Backups and Disaster plan in place it is possible that the entire business could fail.  For example, losing the entire customer contacts; the inability to see who owes who money; the inability to delivery your product to the customer.

What we can offer

We have experience in all size of Backup and Disaster Recovery plans, and have implemented and proof-tested recovery plans for customers of all sizes. 

In our view, Backups and Disaster Recovery are the most critical aspects of the IT function within a business, but all too often they are low on the priority list as you never need to Recover until you have a disaster.  And by then it is too late and your business could literally be at risk.

Initially we can audit your current systems and highlight any issues of data that may be at risk, and advise remedial action. 

We can advise on the levels of protection available, their pros and cons, and ensure the protection matches your business needs.  For some companies the protection level may just be a simple backup of financial records that they can access from another computer; and another company may require the full recovery of all their servers and databases on new equipment should they have a major site fire.

We are also able to test backups and prove that data and systems recovery can be proven to your satisfaction. 

In some cases you may require the services of a 3rd party disaster recovery specialist company who can provide emergency access to facilities and hardware.  In which case we can work with you on setting this up and procedurising a disaster recovery plan to ensure a trained IT person can recovery your systems as necessary.

Our experience shows that almost all companies audited have some data that they could not recover in the event of a computer failure.  Either something has been overlooked; not considered; or not tested.

Other Benefits

Preventing disaster is as critical as being able to recover from disaster.  We are able to recommend preventative measures to minimise the impact of a computer failure.  This can be by adding resilience to hardware; replicating data to another server; and ensuring the systems are set up to meet your business needs.

We can automate backup checks and data export checks, such that someone is proactively notified of success or failure, thus minimising the risk of human neglect of sometimes boring but necessary checks.

Having a working Disaster Recovery Plan can allow a full replica of your systems to be installed on alternative hardware.  This is hugely beneficial as it allows you to test new software and system upgrades etc in a safe isolated environment which can help minimise downtime in a live environment.

Having a technical IT Disaster Recovery Plan can help the rest of the business to create a Business Continuity plan such that if there is a site disaster, other non-IT aspects of the business can be recovered.

Typical Project Duration

In order to understand the data on your systems it is essential to understand the business; the systems currently in place; and the work habits of the users.  All networks are unique, and all businesses have different requirements.  As such, the project durations are guides only and there may be slight variances depending on your exact requirements. 

  • Audit and Report:  Audit systems and provide management and technical report
    Audit systems, users and the usage of data, and understand how the business functions. Review how the data is stored and backed up, and provide report of any issues found and recommendations. 
    Duration:  1-3 days depending on complexity of systems
  • Provide & Test Disaster Recovery Plan:  Provide plan on how to recover systems after failure
    Examine all systems and determine method of recovering them all on alternative hardware in alternative locations.  Provide procedural documentation and training so a technical IT person can follow the instructions in order to recover systems and data. 
    Duration:  Typically 3+ days for simple Domain; 4+ days with database servers; 5+ days with Exchange or other servers.  5+ days for complex multi-server scenarios.  (assumes existing backups are complete and spare facilities are available)

For medium/large companies. if you do not have alternative (spare) hardware (powerful PCs or Servers), then you may need to employ the services of a Disaster Recovery Company.  With an annual contract these will  provide you with office location, desktop PCs, servers, internet and phone systems for you to use both for testing the disaster recovery plan and in the event of actual disaster.  We can work with these companies as they specialise in providing facilities, whereas we specialise in getting your systems and data recovered on their hardware.